Saturday, May 12, 2012

Birthday planning, 2.0

I am in the process of planning another birthday party.
(Just reading through these two posts makes me remember the dread I felt in the days leading to my stepsons birthday and how panicked that the cake might fail.)

My stepdaughter is turning seven in just under 2 weeks (we are celebrating one week later, so I have 3 weeks to get this done).
I have been staring a lot at Martha Stewarts website, particularly at this one. Part of me loves how it's all broken down.
I do love lists. Part of me finds the idea hilarious to mail out invitations. Or to have a set guest list. Or to call the mothers who haven't RSVP'd a week before the event. Or to invite the number of children your child turns plus one. I love the idea of homemade favors. I also know it won't happen.
Which is okay. Culture is different here. I don't expect everybody shows up. I don't expect everybody who shows up will have called in advance.
(Whenever I call to RSVP a birthday I have the impression those mothers couldn't care less that I am calling.)

While I am still nervous about who comes, if my stepdaughter will love it, if everyone will enjoy themselves, I am more relaxed about it than I was leading up to my stepsons birthday.
I know it will be over before you know it. I know there will be more work going into it than will be appreciated. I know some things will go wrong.
(I have learned from last time though. I am more prepared of what's to come.)

The one thing that hasn't changed is the dread of engaging with my stepdaughters classmates mothers, women - in the most sense - who haven't given me the impression of being very inviting to outsiders. Although, for different reasons, I have a hard time getting along with my stepsons classmates mothers (different school, different type of mothers), in general they have been more welcoming, friendlier.

I make fun of the mothers at my stepdaughters school every chance I get. With their big ass cars, a handful of personnel and careless attitude towards aspects of the school that cannot be solved through a donation.
I want to wow these mothers. Some part of me wants to impress these women. Women who have no jobs but only do the bare minimum (or have their "nannies/maids" do the hard labor).
(The other day, the Junior School organized a charity bake sale. The mothers were encouraged to bake their best "international dishes". After I dropped my stepdaughter (who brought in freshly baked madeleines) and walked down the stairs, a girl walked up carrying a bag filled with store brought chocolate chip cookies still in their packaging. There was no obligation to contribute.)
I want to be like my friend S. who does impressive things when she invites friends to the countryside but in an effortless way (I also want her friends who are appreciate and helpful wherever they can!). A lot of work goes into those gatherings but she is able to make it seem easy and create a wonderfully intimate atmosphere.

We'll - hopefully (the location is still not 100% set) - celebrate outdoors.
I will - hopefully (if my stepdaughter and I can agree to a theme) - make a cake.
I have a color scheme I love. There will be balloons and maybe tissue pompons.
And lots of food. Delicious, homemade food. 

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